Basic Science Core Course
To provide the fundamental knowledge necessary to practice modern biomedical sciences and to lay the foundation for future research collaborations, all students pursuing a PhD in the Basic Sciences are required to complete a semester-long Core Course. In the Core Course, students learn essential skills in:
- Designing experiments
- Interpreting experimental data
- How to critically evaluate primary research literature
The Core Course also includes instruction on the use of scientific databases.
The Core Course is delivered in multiple formats, including:
- Experimental design sessions
- Small group discussions
The Core Course extends from August to December and is valued at nine credit hours. In January, students begin advanced course work. By the end of the second semester, students join a graduate program and choose a laboratory for their dissertation research.
The Core Course content is organized into five themes. Students complete work in “Proteins” and “Genes” and one or more of three elective themes.
Instruction includes the energetic basis of protein structure; stability; ligand binding and regulation; enzyme mechanics and kinetics; methods of purification; and analysis by spectroscopic methods.
Instruction includes molecular genetics of model organisms; DNA replication, repair and recombination; transcription; RNA catalysis, processing and interference; translation; protein turnover; developmental biology; and genomics.
Instruction includes cell structure; membrane biology; intracellular membrane and protein trafficking; energy conversion; signal transduction and second messengers; cytoskeleton, cell cycle, and basics of microbiology; immunology; and neurobiology.
Instruction focuses on protein physical chemistry, equilibrium, kinetics, and the primary methods used to study these processes.
Instruction focuses on neuronal membrane structure and transport; cellular electricity; synaptic transmission; diseases involving ion channels; and organization of the nervous system.